The poem is about a 22-year-old boy from Winston-Salem who is asked by his instructor to write a paper for a class. He tries to find his identity, but has to struggle with the obstacles of racism. At the same time, he shows how we influence each other, whites influencing blacks and blacks influencing whites. Part of the human experience is to learn from one another. He says, "You are whiteyet a part of me, as I am a part of you." People strive to be individuals, but it becomes very difficult, because every encounter we have with someone then becomes a part of that person, even if he or she does not want it to. "Sometimes perhaps you don't want to be a part of me. Nor do I often want to be a part of you."
The poem itself, I find, is well-structured. At the beginning, the introduction is a little complicated, because it seems like the author has to write something, but he does not know what it is. For instance, what is, indeed, truth? What is it he is attempting to express? At the same time, it is a great introduction, because he makes the connection in the second paragraph (line 6). He gives us a clue as to his motives by asking how simple can it be for a 22-year-old man, colored and new in a place where he is the only African American. He beautifully expresses the reality of his situation. Also, it connects with paragraph 3 (line 16), saying that "it's not easy to know what is true."
He seems to be lost tying to find out who he is and exploring his real identity. Not only does he look in different places where he has lived, he even tries listening to the city, building memories of what he likes the most. He continues to reassure himself throughout the poem that he is not different from others just because he is colored.
He wants to be equal, based on common traits and characteristics with his fellow human beings. He points this out: "I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love. I like to work, read, learn, and...